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Convention center will remove shroud from controversial mural

By Susan Essoyan

LAST UPDATED: 04:26 p.m. HST, Sep 19, 2013

The mural, "Forgotten Inheritance," by Hans Ladislaus will be unveiled again for public viewing at the Hawai'i Convention Center after having been shrouded in black cloth since Sept. 4.

Hawaii Tourism Authority President Mike McCartney had ordered the public artwork draped in deference to objections from some native Hawaiians who found the depiction of bones in the sand at the edge of the mural to be offensive.

But his decision provoked more controversy than the mural itself. In a written statement Thursday afternoon, McCartney did not indicate when the covering would be removed. 

"After a series of productive meetings with all the involved parties, the HTA is pleased to announce that a mutual understanding has been reached which will allow the piece by Hans Ladislaus to be put back on display at the Hawaii Convention Center," the statement said. 

"This mutual agreement was based on sincere mutual respect between the involved parties and includes continuing discussions with the involved parties to further their understanding and appreciation of the various perspectives raised during this process."

The artwork had been on display since the convention center was completed 16 years ago. The 10-by-25-foot sculpture is an abstract panorama incorporating a map of the island chain and various symbols, including at its far edge, stylized images of bones in sand. It was made of concrete, plaster and brass.

Ladislaus said the artwork was designed to reflect his concern that Hawaii's people are losing touch with their heritage.

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1local wrote:
who approved the art work? Taxpayer money wasted again by government agency. HTA is a waste of money - millions being spent on an industry that keeps its citizens trapped in toilet scrubbing - ditch digging - service oriented menial jobs...
on September 19,2013 | 04:33PM
aomohoa wrote:
It was done 16 years ago and now you complain, or have you been complaining your whole life.LOL
on September 19,2013 | 07:21PM
Skyler wrote:
on September 19,2013 | 10:47PM
EducatedLocalBoy wrote:
Hans Christian Andersen's "The Emperor's New Clothes" was written for the Hawaii Commission on the Culture and the Arts, the tasteless folks who commissioned the mural in the first place. If it's ugly or non-existent, as was the cloth from which the Emperor's clothes was made, the Commission will buy it. If it's great art, the Commission will reject it. The Commission has a history of doing this ever since the 60's when it bought that hideous statute of Father Damien that was placed in front of the State Capitol for many years. I say take down the mural not because it offends the Hawaiians, take it down because it offends the taste of the average person.
on September 19,2013 | 07:46PM
allie wrote:
Agree..it is terrible art. It should never have been put up in a public place. If it is an insult to Hawaiians, more reason to take the junk down. Convention center was way overbuilt and is filled with shame and scandal from the get go.
on September 19,2013 | 04:37PM
Matsu wrote:
Allie- First of all, have you even seen the art work in question? And if so, must we take down any art work that YOU deem terrible? It is time to stop with all the memini sensativities. I am offended by most of your comments, but I don't demand that you be taken off the comment page. Being part Hawaiian, I am far from insulted by this art work. Aren't you from South Dakota? Please don't speak for me and my heritage. We can take of ourselves just fine.
on September 19,2013 | 05:03PM
copperwire9 wrote:
Thank you, Matsu, for your comments. Much appreciated.
on September 19,2013 | 06:43PM
AmbienDaze wrote:
on September 19,2013 | 07:20PM
aomohoa wrote:
I agree. Mahalo
on September 19,2013 | 07:25PM
JimLoomis wrote:
Finally! An intelligent comment. Mahalo!!
on September 20,2013 | 05:46AM
aomohoa wrote:
You are a ignorant thing that will be leaving soon. You are nasty about Hawaiians all the time and what do you know about Art?? You are so ridiculous. Are you on drugs now??
on September 19,2013 | 07:24PM
primo1 wrote:
Much ado about nothing.
on September 19,2013 | 04:39PM
Matsu wrote:
on September 19,2013 | 05:03PM
hanalei395 wrote:
I don't really care if the shroud is removed or not, but I saw it, and it looks pretty good as it is now. Leave the shroud over it and call it art.
on September 19,2013 | 06:22PM
AmbienDaze wrote:
more blither from the prince.
on September 19,2013 | 07:21PM
hanalei395 wrote:
This stalker, Daze, who follows me around, would probably look better if covered with a shroud.
on September 19,2013 | 08:21PM
EducatedLocalBoy wrote:
Hanalei395, I agree with you 100%. The Federal law which the artist relies on, 17 United States Code, section 106A(a)(3) provides that the law is violated only if the artwork is intentionally distorted, mutilated, or otherwise modified in a way which would be prejudicial to the artist's honor or reputation. Covering it up totally is none of these things.
on September 19,2013 | 07:56PM
localguy wrote:
Actually put the shroud over Paulette's head. She thinks the artwork is part of a conspiracy theory. She can't see it, can't cause trouble.
on September 19,2013 | 08:33PM
kuroiwaj wrote:
At times the State makes the correct decision so all who visit the Hawaii Convention Center can enjoy the mural. This decision for certain is the right decision.
on September 19,2013 | 04:40PM
droid wrote:
Clearly, the decision to shroud the mural was made based on over-reaction. That reaction was based on the erroneous premise that the bones depicted were actual human bones. Once this was revealed as untrue, the artwork must be viewed as free speech and not have its status dictated by political agendas.
on September 20,2013 | 01:24AM
localguy wrote:
Wow. So much spin from this fiasco that Hawaii Tourism Authority President Mike McCartney could power the Nei for weeks. So what is this "Mutual Agreement?" Why is it being kept Hush Hush? Who kow towed to whom? I hope the complaining whiner was told to pack sand, no one cares about her conspiracy theory. Especially when she was the only one in almost 20 years to say something. I understand she heard voices in her head the art work was evil. Ok, fiasco over, don't do it again Mike.
on September 19,2013 | 04:43PM
hikine wrote:
Art is always controversial but to fold because some complained is idiotic. What about those people that liked the art?
on September 19,2013 | 04:48PM
willman wrote:
Goes to show you that McCartney is out of touch with our community. Just another political appointee who has never found his way.
on September 19,2013 | 04:53PM
AmbienDaze wrote:
he's from hsta, so, yeah. agree.
on September 19,2013 | 07:24PM
rayhawaii wrote:
Some Native Hawaiians need to look at Pokai Bay. The whole area mostly used by Hawaiian's and trash, cigarette buts, beer bottle caps litter everywhere. I see Haole people picking up the trash in the mornings. It's like spitting on your ancestors graves. No respect for the land.Worry about some artwork, look at yourself in the mirror first and educate some no respect Hawaiians. This Hawaiian always picking up someone else's trash so I'm not just talk talk talk.
on September 19,2013 | 05:01PM
engineersoldier wrote:
Right answer.
on September 19,2013 | 05:19PM
jusjoking wrote:
Strange. After all the controversy about the artwork I now get the message of the piece . Not the artist's description, but my take on it has changed since seeing it years ago. What I originally thought as wasteful tax spending on "art", I now see as an attempt to explain deep feelings of the depth of what the native culture hold so dearly. Seems clear the wrong person was paid to create it, yet I wonder the dislike of the, inmo, the respect implied by things so idolized.
on September 19,2013 | 05:52PM
copperwire9 wrote:
Why was the artist the "wrong person" to create it, if it helps to explain the "deep feelings of the depth of what the native culture hold so dearly"? I don't understand that. (It's a genuine question - I'm not trying to bait you; I'm trying to understand your logic.)
on September 19,2013 | 06:46PM
aomohoa wrote:
Wait, when the rail stations are done you will have plenty to complain about. They are spending Millions on Art work, taxpayer money!
on September 19,2013 | 07:28PM
st1d wrote:
and to think hawaiians used to make fish hooks out of iwi, human bones.
on September 19,2013 | 06:14PM
Surfer_Dude wrote:
Let's move along folks, nothing to SEE here.
on September 19,2013 | 06:36PM
Skyler wrote:
Especially through that black thing... can't see NOTHING.
on September 19,2013 | 10:50PM
Wazdat wrote:
Hawaii sure has some lolo people in charge
on September 19,2013 | 06:44PM
airplane_bridge wrote:
take it down!! and while we are at it, let's get rid of all books. close down all the libraries. cut the internet cables and shoot down da satellites. I want to eat my poi and swim in my molasses ocean. no boda me....
on September 19,2013 | 06:46PM
MC96816 wrote:
Good one, brah!!!
on September 19,2013 | 07:30PM
Surfer_Dude wrote:
This thing has been up for 16 years. All of a sudden some people now are getting upset over the bones? btw.....who died and made McCartney judge, jury, art critic and chief censor.
on September 19,2013 | 06:50PM
The_Dude_Abides wrote:
Yawn. Slow news day...
on September 19,2013 | 06:59PM
Grimbold wrote:
I am sure there is some dimwit art-lover who would call the black shroud "art". To remind us all of our dark side. Ha ha .
on September 19,2013 | 08:06PM
Senior_Researcher wrote:
McCartney should have conducted all of his handholding meetings BEFORE he made a decision on a piece of art on display for 16 years and vetted by all the interested parties beforehand. His unilateral decision to cover the piece was a total knee-jerk reaction, which makes him a - - TOTAL JERK!!!
on September 19,2013 | 08:14PM
localguy wrote:
It's fiascos like this behind the reason why the world still sees the Nei as a little 4th world with no professional management. Just a bunch of clueless bureaucrats running around like headless chickens. Give us a break.
on September 19,2013 | 08:28PM
localguy wrote:
It's f i a s c o s like this behind the reason why the world still sees the Nei as a little 4th world with no professional management. Just a bunch of clueless bureaucrats running around like headless chickens. Give us a break.
on September 19,2013 | 08:29PM
Gondad wrote:
Why does the government (HTA=government funds) continually contract non-native persons to accomplish Hawaiian Cultural projects? That is a slap in native peoples face. Laws and protocols need to be put in place similar to Aotearoa and Native American, that protects Native cultural and intellectual property rights.
on September 19,2013 | 08:59PM
Billyther wrote:
If anyone involved in this had shown the least bit of "mutual respect" or intellectual honesty, it wouldn't have happened in the first place. Evaluate art or anything all you want, but stop with the non-sense of banning things or covering them up. Hey PC police, free speech isn't just for those who agree with you.
on September 19,2013 | 09:23PM
reedosan wrote:
Amen. Better to change your mind than to stay with a wrong idea
on September 20,2013 | 10:24AM
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